Communication Tips Day 5| What's Your Style?
Developing your own unique style when it comes to effective communication is critical to your success as a blogger and content creator. Not only is finding your own voice as a communicator a great asset that helps to create a loyal readership, in time it will help you stand out in the giant forest of website authors and make more money from your blog.
Think of some of the great communicators of all time. What is it about the way they speak and write that makes them both unique and effective?
For Mark Twain and Will Rogers, it was the way they were able to write short, pithy sentences filled with common sense and humor. Zig Ziglar became famous for his folksy, down home style. Ziglar had a unique sounding voice and he often used colloquialisms to get his point across. The same was true for journalist Andy Rooney.
Each of these great communicators had a way of making you feel like you were right there with them. They wrote and spoke directly to us as though we were the most important person in the room. They had a powerful way of engaging readers.
Engaging readers and keeping them engaged is why you want to develop your own style.
Regardless of the kind of writing you do, it is your writing style that sets you apart from thousands of other writers. Every writer has a different level of skill in terms of communicating effectively to readers. Style is something you will develop over time.
7 WRITING TIPS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR OWN STYLE
Listed below are seven tips for developing your own unique style of writing.
-1- The recommended way to develop your unique writing style is to study great writers. If you are writing for the web, find a half dozen or more bloggers you like and study their content. While you never want to copycat content, it is smart to analyze skilled writers for the way they organize and express themselves.
Look at how they format articles.Study the first sentence then the first paragraph. Study the main body of the content all the way down to the close. Do they use long drawn out sentence or short ones? Do they use descriptive words to create a word picture? Do they use flowery phrases?Do they use 4-5 syllable words or is it mostly 1,2 and 3 syllable words?
-2- Write in a naturally easy voice. Use the phrases and words that come most easily to you in your first draft.Don’t try to use big words that are hard to understand. If you have to look up the meaning of a word, so will your readers.
You will lose the attention of most readers if you use complicated words and sentences. It’s far better to relate to your readers than it is to try to impress them with your use of vocabulary.
-3- Most writing courses encourage writing in a style that is conversational.In others words, write like you talk.
Pretend you are having a conversation with a good friend. While each friend may have a different personality, you maintain the integrity of your personality when talking to them. That is to say, you must be authentic and true to your own voice and unique point of view.
-4- Write a first draft of your article without editing. Don’t stress over grammar, punctuation or spelling on the first draft. Just put down on paper whatever comes to your mind in whatever way it comes.
Here is another tip--don't try to be perfect with your first draft. Sure, it will have flaws but the first phase of writing anything is the creative part where you put your thoughts together.The second phase is where you will edit and polish your article.
When you get to the editing phase of your article, edit, edit and edit again. I find it best to write my article and let it sit for awhile while I go for a walk or run an errand.Clearing my head helps me to see the improvements I need to make and correct my mistakes before I publish.
-5- Read your article out loud to yourself.Does it sound like you?Would your spouse or best friend pick your article out and say it sounds like you? Does your personality come through?
It’s hard for a person who finds humor in life to write even a technical piece without inserting their humor somewhere in the piece. On the other hand, if you are an analytical, no nonsense type of person, it may sound contrived if you try to be funny when that’s not your style.Does that make sense?
-6- Write in a natural, active voice.Writing in an active voice is easier to read and understand.It’s also more direct.
Here’s an example. Instead of writing, “My first visit to the Lincoln Memorial will be one I shall always remember with fondness”, write it this way, “I’ll never forget my first visit to the Lincoln Memorial.”
Writing in an active voice is more concise and it sounds more like you would talk.
-7- Write and keep on writing.Write something every day.The best way to develop your own unique style of writing is to practice. The more often you write the better you will become at communicating to your readers. Your own style will evolve over time.
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For Your Success!